Online dating gurus

Once you're ready to contact someone, adds that it's best to keep messages cool and casual. You'll have to give a lot of frogs the ol' cheek turn.

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Though rating individual sites is beyond our scope, we've compiled recent rankings from several sites like pointed out that the site has "far more search options than we found in any other dating site," including physical appearance, exercise frequency and occupation, to name a few.

The downsides are the high price and constant requests for more cash to see who visited your page, for example., free, is popular, but it sure ain't pretty.

There's no reason why you can't play the field with dating sites, but they vary widely in reputation.

The top 20 in terms of unique visitors (according to Alexa) are shown above.

The site will make design purists go cross-eyed, and it often serves up skeevy banner ads.

Given the large number of user profiles, however, it might be a good place for a newbie to start before taking the subscription leap., -/month, quizzes each of its users exhaustively and employs custom algorithms to make a match.

Try to focus on the other person and not talk about yourself too much. As recounted by , certain dates can go sideways, but at least you can laugh about them later.

Our Managing Editor Dana Wollman recalls meeting several nerdy dates online who, upon learning her job, proceeded to talk all evening about gadgets. When you work in tech all day, it's the last thing you want to discuss. However, there are plenty of deranged individuals out there who look at dating sites and see a trove of potential victims.

There are serious pitfalls to avoid, of course: dodgy sites, "catfishing" and, worst of all, online predators.

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